The holidays are almost upon us. This means laughter, good cheer, and good food. It might also mean celebrations with many guests. While hosting guests can be incredibly joyous and fun for some of you, it can also be a source of stress as you try to figure out how to get your home ready for incoming family and friends. Sometimes you feel that your house can never been tidy and clean enough, and when you look around, all you notice is what’s left to be done. With that in mind, follow these tips to ensure that you and your guests have a wonderful time together, and that your house is ready to receive everyone with a minimum of fuss.
Guest Arrival Checklist
- Guest allergies and preferences. It will make everyone’s life much easier if you contact guests ahead of time and find out about food allergies and preferences. If you are cooking a large dinner, for example, and you know at least some of the guests eat meat, then you can make a simple meat main dish with several substantial sides that are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Elana’s Pantry has some incredibly easy gluten-free (and sometimes vegetarian) snacks and sides that will tickle your guest’s taste buds.
- Front entrance. A very tidy entrance welcomes guests in the best possible way. Take time for a small face-lift. Repainting and potted plants can soften the entrance. Don’t forget to include a welcome mat for guests to wipe their feet on. If there’s space, include a coat rack and some place to sit down.
- Is the path clear? Make sure guests can sail through the entrance without tripping on your shoes. In addition, Some people like to add a piece of artwork or other decor to help connect the entryway with the next room in the house.
- Home bar basics. After greeting guests, the first thing that you will want to do is offer them a drink. You don’t need to be full service, but make sure you have the home bar basics covered. Spirits that you should probably have are: two gins – like Beefeater and Plymouth, rye whiskey – like Wild Turkey, a tequila like Flor de Cana, a dark rum like Appleton, and a single malt for mixing. The home bar basics link also has suggestions for bitters and citrus, amongst others.
Guest Bedroom Checklist
- Pillows and sheets. Certainly always start with clean cotton sheets. If you wash them several times, they’ll become softer and softer. Do you have a few different types of pillows for your guests? Also, be sure to have many blankets or duvets available, and double-check that none of your guests are allergic to feathers.
- Light. You’ll also want to check that there’s a reading lamp and different sources of light as only having one overhead light can make the room feel less welcoming.
- Outlets. Are the outlets easily accessible and uncluttered? Your guest might want to plug in a computer or cell phone at night.
- The door. Make sure it closes properly, so your guest can have some privacy. A door that won’t close invites drafts and less privacy.
- The bed(s). Are they suitable for your guests? Will children be staying there? Or elderly? Do you need a mattress topper for a firm mattress?
- Temperature. You might want to have a space heater, fan, or ensure that windows can be cracked, so your guests can modulate the temperature as needed.
- Hotel-Style Amenities. If you know your guests will be around for a while, you might consider a sort of mini-kitchen tucked away in the closet. A mini-fridge, electric kettle, and microwave can perch in there. You can also include tea, coffee, and juice. This gives your guest a bit more morning independence.
- Safety. Make sure you have an assist bar and non-slip decals or a mat in your shower or bath.
- Supplies. Include shampoo, conditioner, hand & body lotion, and shower gel in case your guests forget theirs. While you’re at it, include a few toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss.
- Storage niche. It can be very helpful if your guests have a storage niche/cabinet of their own to store their toiletries, especially if the guest room is not attached to its own bathroom.
- Towels. Many shapes and sizes, in sets if possible. That way your guest can claim his or her own set and make it their own throughout their stay.
- Clear Dishes and Counters. Take time to clear off the counters and empty the sink. Guests sometimes bring goodies of their own and will need a space in the kitchen for them.
- Wipe down surfaces. After the counters, swipe the stove, table, and outsides of cabinets. You’d be surprised how dirty they get.
- Floor. You might not have time to mop the floor, but you can definitely sweep it. Spot check with a cloth and a spritz of multi-purpose cleaner.
With these simple checklists, you’ll be able to have your home in tip-top shape. Some people also prefer to have a Weekly Cleaning Schedule which keeps the house basically looking good throughout the week. Here are also daily (30 minutes a day), weekly (2-3 hours), and annual schedules. They honestly seem manageable though they don’t completely cover what you’ll need to keep your guests happy. In any case, having guests stay over is, ideally, fun. With that in mind, what can you do to make visits fun for your guests and fun for YOU?